Contact Us

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have enjoyed reading our story and learning some things about the science of mental illness.

We would really love to hear from you.  Comment in the box on the blog page with any of your thoughts or send us a private note here.   Thanks for coming and come back soon.

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4 Responses to Contact Us

  1. slp says:

    I don’t know if you are keeping up the site or not. I am a person with BP II and find that relationships, and the lack of them, and the difficulties I’ve experienced in them, are a huge trigger for me. I am terrified that what I’ve experienced so far is an indicator of what I will get always.

    I was searching for information on dating/love and bipolar, and almost all the articles I found are from the perspective of a non-bipolar person dating a bipolar person; and how challenging that was for them; and what they had to go through. While I appreciate this experience…yours was one of few articles or sources I found discussing the viewpoint of the bipolar person. Yours was certainly the only one that investigated and gave me an extra insight into the particular anxieties, and suggested a possible, positive approach to the difficulties.

    If I ever find myself at a point in a relationship to have this conversation, I am definitely going to refer back to this, and have it. Thank you for this page.

    best,
    s

    • ocavan says:

      Thanks for your comment, S. I have not kept this site current, but need to. I really appreciate hearing from you. This site was erected to honor my son and give him support. He began to show signs of bipolar at the age of 3 but wasn’t diagnosed till he was 15. I’m sorry to say the effects of the illness, the extreme manias, the terrible depressions, the ineffective treatments just seemed to get worse for him…and he died this past May. But I want you to know that he was a relationship person who was part of a relational family. He worked hard at relationships, but as you described so well, the ups and downs and confusions and hurts of relationships continued to create triggers for him that were at times devastating. In the last few years of his life he connected with a beautiful lady who was actually 20 years older and they found a connection that was the most meaningful either of them had ever known. But they couldn’t get past the ups the downs…those scary misunderstandings… After two years they broke up and as fate would have it became best friends…neither wanted to be without the other but the romantic thing was just too threatening. She has missed him terribly and openly tells everyone he was the love of her life. What I have observed is that the old ways she had of interacting with boyfriends based on insecurity could not work with him. He was sensitive and his emotions were fragile. When someone loves a bipolar, they have to grasp that they are getting a person who is incredibly loving, deep feeling, sensitive…and often very giving. But you can’t walk on their feelings.

      For yourself, S, you must be so discriminating in who you allow into your life and heart. You have very special gifts. The idea that mental illness is a badge of shame is antiquated. I believe the day is coming when people will see that those we call mentally ill now are people with very special gifts that have to be handled very gently and understood with a big heart. The movie, A Beautiful Mind, is a glimpse into that world.

      My son could not have relationships with just any pretty girl safely…and I bet you can’t either. A beautiful girl can sometimes be a person who has been treated like she was beautiful all her life, and may expect certain favors, or may not have learned to look beyond herself because of her own self focus. This type of personality has no business in the life of someone with bipolar disorder. I do believe you can love and be loved…but I think you have to be extremely careful because of the impact of episodes on your brain and your self-image. You know? My son reached the point that he stopped dating…he said he knew he wouldn’t survive if he continued. These triggers would lead to his trying to end his life. The intensity that goes with this illness needs to be carefully managed….it’s powerful and can be beautiful. But it can also be life-threatening.

      Are you aware of Bipolar in Order? This is a program developed by a Tom Wootton, who is also bipolar. I encourage you to take a look. bipolarinorder.com

      And please come and talk here again. I’ve had countless conversations with my son and some of the girls he dated, as well as the lady he loved the last four years. She learned that she had to put his brain idiosyncrasies before her own impulses. That she couldn’t react at him because he accidentally hurt her feelings. She learned she had to find out how to enjoy him on his terms…. enjoy all the beauty and warmth and thoughtfulness he offered without chiding him ever for anything. It takes a special person who is willing to give and not be selfish to enjoy all that a bipolar person has to offer. But isn’t that what love is anyway? Giving and not taking? Loving a bipolar person teaches the rest of us how to give unselfishly. And the rewards are beyond measure.

      Thanks for coming by, S. I hope to see you here again soon.

      Cyndee ❤

      • slp says:

        Cyndee, I’m so glad you took the time to respond. I have become very close with my own mother through this diagnosis, I think healing a lot of previous distance (some of which was there b/c she held my moods against me–the family used to tease me by calling me “Sarah Burnhardt” b/c she was *so*…”dramatic”), but one thing we’ve never done well with is talking relationships. My own father died when I was 6 and I don’t believe she’s ever moved beyond it, relationship-wise (though she’s done many other amazing things). I’m 31 now.

        I am so sorry to hear about your son. There’s not much else to say about a loss like that. But from what I’ve read here I would say you put extreme effort into loving and supporting him, and as a BP person I can tell you that is nothing small in my experience.

        I’m in the midst of a terrible relapse now following what I guess I’ll call the loss of a relationship, but really, that might not be a fair thing to call it. I can’t really make sense of anything, what I did right, what I did wrong, what they did right/wrong, when the BP mood swings started—sometimes they just creep in over time and I am so used to them I think they’re normal—what I can forgive either of us for…and although this person is a very old friend and lover, it’s been months since they apparently decided to stop talking to me. And the way I fall in love is such a bipolar euphoria. Feels like I’m seeing the heavens, etc., understanding something about the design of things to come, and then, well, the world doesn’t seem to agree with those designs. And I’ve tried to date casually to move on. And I seem to have awful luck, but also my perceptions don’t seem to match what other people perceive. It is so tiring. I don’t understand any of it. Not all of it is the BP of course. Sometimes I just don’t know what I’m doing in relationships, period, I guess. But it seems every major attachment I have ends impressively and I go crazy again.

        I am seeing a new psychiatrist now. I have been on the True Hope EMP program for a while now, and it worked very well, overall, for the first 2ish years…I have not heard of Bipolar in Order but I will look into it.

        best,
        s

  2. slp says:

    Cyndee, would it be possible to move our conversation to private email?

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